Sunday, December 28, 2014

Capellini in Herb Parmesan Broth with Seared Scallops

Broth soups are my favorite type of soups; light and delicate, but if done right, full of flavor. Recently a Savour Magazine recipe caught my eye - parmesan rind and fresh herb broth with capellini cooked in the broth to thicken it ever so slightly. This sounded like the perfect peasant food and I was really surprised I hadn't come across it before.

Of course you could eat this without the scallops and keep it vegetarian (and easier on your wallet). But we are loving scallops lately so I splurged. Other than making the broth ahead of time which takes an extra hour, this meal comes together really quickly. It feels decadent and yet its elegant simplicity at its best.

I usually don't serve bread with pasta, but you'll want to sop up all of the delicious broth, so don't leave it off the plate.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Chocolate Dipped Satsuma Tangerines

Not being a huge fan of chocolate - I know, it seems impossible to fathom, but true - it's funny that my favorite dessert flavors are orange and chocolate together. To me they are the perfect combination. And the most perfect combination is when you put together juicy tangerines with dark chocolate. That's my idea of the perfect dessert!

What's so fun about this recipe is that there is no need to fuss with a double boiler. In fact, its inspired by the raw desserts I used to make as a raw food chef. Dipping anything really cold into liquid coconut oil instantly creates a hard shell, presto magic! And since cacao is considered a super food (along with its cousin coconut oil) some people would even consider these treats nutritious. Either way, they are delicious, so enjoy them guilt free!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mushroom, Chevre, and Smoked Salmon Buckwheat Crepes

French crepes seem such a mystery, and in many ways they are...until you live in a town with a creperie and you see them made before you eyes. Ahhh, the veil is pulled aside and all is revealed!

I don't know how authentic the crepe recipe is but the consistency works really well. The key is to make sure there are no lumps so the crepes spread evenly when cooking. Buckwheat is a delicious nutty grain so go with it!

Of course you can remove the salmon if you want to make it vegetarian. And if you have eagle eyes, you'll notice some green in the picture. There was some extra sautéed swiss chard so I added it. But it isn't necessary and I didn't want to over-complicate the recipe.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mushroom Feta Phyllo Pie

Phyllo is a wonderful ingredient that is truly easy to use once you get over your fear of its dainty appearance. Fortunately for me, a former roommate from Belgrade, Serbia, helped me see the light of how simple and delicious cooking with phyllo can be.

Natasha used phyllo with abandon, making cheese, spinach and even sauerkraut pies with it. I remember watching in awe, thinking that she new some culinary secrets to working with phyllo. But she was no spectacular cook and she was quite rough with it, laughing at the idea that it was delicate and dainty. "If it rips, you just layer another piece on top, no one will know!"

The best part about her technique was pouring some liquid, usually an egg and milk mixture, over the top of the uncooked pie after cutting it into slices to moisten the top phyllo and allow the egg to work its way into the pie. Try it, you'll love it!

My magic trick for working with phyllo is my trusty Misto. This kitchen helper works wonders, not only for misting phyllo with oil but for helping me to avoid buying the horrid canned oil sprays. Find one online and make it your new favorite kitchen toy!